By Bob Nalbandian

State Of Triumph - Chapter Two
Massacre Records

This release is so goddamn typical of the new breed of traditional metal...thin, unoriginal guitar riffs, self-indugeant leads, irritating high-pitch vocals and synthetic, mechanical drum beats! The songs a speedy, but greatly lack the raw heaviness and emotional power. This CD is so over-produced that it sounds sterile, with the guitars sounding way too thin and clean, and a drum mix that is...wretched! The songs on this CD are nothing more than rehashed riffs and melodies from their debut, Millennium Metal - Chapter One (the only saving grace on that record was a very interesting, sped-up version of "Smoke On The Water.") Their promo pic alone (with the band cartooned in molten metal) should fathom the lameness of this band. None of the songs on this CD standout with the exception of the closing ballad, which is downright pathetic! This CD should sell well in Europe, but do we really need another Helloween?? If you're a fan of Hammerfall, (new) Riot, Freedom Call, or Steel Attack, this CD may be for you, but for me...I can do without!

Enlighten the Darkness
Century Media

This marks the third CD release from this great German power-metal outfit and definitely shows promise! A great, thick production (courtesy of Siggi Bemm) , ballsy metal riffs, solid musicianship, and powerful vocals from Dirk Thurisch set Angeldust apart from the rest of the power-metal pack. This band has defintely progressed musically, from a standard thrash-metal band in the '80s to a power-metal powerhouse! The opener, "Let Me Live," is a true ass-pounder, and the songs that follow ("The One You Are," "Come Into Resistance") are equally as brilliant and heavy but, just as soon as the CD starts to build midway through the CD, the band opts to bombared the listener with slow songs/ballads, making it difficult to regain the momentum on track 10, "Cross Of Hate." Nonetheless, this is definitely a CD worth purchasing!

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